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Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

View Poll Results: Rate Rough Beasts Of Empire
Outstanding 36 25.53%
Above Average 58 41.13%
Average 25 17.73%
Below Average 13 9.22%
Poor 9 6.38%
Voters: 141. You may not vote on this poll

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Old March 30 2011, 06:52 PM   #496
Rush Limborg
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Sci wrote: View Post
Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
--all of this begs for the question, as Picard asked, "How many people does it take, Admiral...before it becomes wrong, hmm? 1,000? 50,000? A million? How many people does it take, Admiral?"

Where do you draw the line, and say, "I don't care if means the war goes on even longer, and claims more lives on our side, and I don't care if not doing this runs the risk of their defeating us--I am opposed to genocide, and will not do it under any circumstance!"

If the Resistance targeting innocents was morally wrong, but tactically necessary, where do you draw the line between that and what should not be done?
Where do you draw the line between scruff and a beard?
I'm not sure there is such a line. I've heard "scruff" being referred to as "beards", and vice versa.
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Old March 31 2011, 01:09 AM   #497
Sci
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
Sci wrote: View Post
Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
--all of this begs for the question, as Picard asked, "How many people does it take, Admiral...before it becomes wrong, hmm? 1,000? 50,000? A million? How many people does it take, Admiral?"

Where do you draw the line, and say, "I don't care if means the war goes on even longer, and claims more lives on our side, and I don't care if not doing this runs the risk of their defeating us--I am opposed to genocide, and will not do it under any circumstance!"

If the Resistance targeting innocents was morally wrong, but tactically necessary, where do you draw the line between that and what should not be done?
Where do you draw the line between scruff and a beard?
I'm not sure there is such a line. I've heard "scruff" being referred to as "beards", and vice versa.
Really? There's no line between ZZ Top and a guy who forgot to shave for a day?
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Old March 31 2011, 01:39 AM   #498
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

^The terminology is subjective. I've heard "scruffy beards" as a description of really think ones--at times synonymous with "shaggy".

But no one would call full-fledged "beards" morally wrong, and "scruff" acceptable, if necessary. If that were the case, I'm sure there would be laws clarifying exactly where the line is to be drawn.

As it stands, the stakes aren't exactly that high as far as beards are concerned.
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Old March 31 2011, 03:48 AM   #499
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
^The terminology is subjective. I've heard "scruffy beards" as a description of really think ones--at times synonymous with "shaggy".

But no one would call full-fledged "beards" morally wrong, and "scruff" acceptable, if necessary. If that were the case, I'm sure there would be laws clarifying exactly where the line is to be drawn.

As it stands, the stakes aren't exactly that high as far as beards are concerned.
That's not really the point. This point is this:

There is a line between scruff (or, if you prefer, fuzz) and a beard. But nobody really knows when scruff ceases to be scruff and becomes a beard.

There is a line between collateral damage and mass murder. But no one really knows where that line is.

We can say when something has gone too far -- and detonating a nuke is going too far. We don't know where the exact border between what is acceptable and unacceptable is. All we can do is try to feel things out on a case-by-case basis.

Or, I suppose, we could compare it to pornography:

"I don't know how to define it, but I know it when I see it!"
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Old March 31 2011, 03:59 AM   #500
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Uh...huh....

Well, with all due respect, that may work for personal judgement--but laws can't be written on grounds of personal judgement. Else, they are left vague--and vaugeness in the law is invariably exploited.
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Old March 31 2011, 11:24 PM   #501
Sci
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
Uh...huh....

Well, with all due respect, that may work for personal judgement--but laws can't be written on grounds of personal judgement. Else, they are left vague--and vaugeness in the law is invariably exploited.
But we're not talking about the law. We're talking about whether or not it would have been a "good thing" for the Bajoran Resistance or for an anti-Soviet terrorist organization to use nuclear weapons on civilian population centers.
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Old April 1 2011, 07:02 PM   #502
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
So if Kira says they were all guilty, she must have been targeting actual occupation members or their families, nothing more. She wasn't just indulging in racial hatred of all Cardassians.
She did say, that they had a saying in the resistance "If you're not fighting them, you're helping them", so maybe they used that as "carte blanche" to justify any civilians deaths.
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Old April 1 2011, 07:05 PM   #503
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Sci wrote: View Post
Of course, the thing to bear in mind about Kira is that even though she viewed all Cardassians present on Bajor during the Occupation as being violators of Bajoran sovereignty, she didn't necessarily think all Cardassians deserved to be killed. Witness her reaction at the end of "Duet," when a Cardassian not guilty of any war crimes is murdered by a Bajoran.
Yes - and that's presented as a moment of epiphany. Duet's about Kira's changing understanding of Cardassians.

Sci wrote: View Post
Kestrel wrote:
Only in location and scale.
Location and scale matter.
Not to the dead they don't.

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
First, the Jem'Hadar kill themselves, therefore it's not a second "genocide", per se.
If you drive somebody to suicide, you can be charged with murder.

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
If the Resistance targeting innocents was morally wrong, but tactically necessary, where do you draw the line between that and what should not be done?
You first never ever lose sight of the moral repugnancy and pretend it's okay. When choosing between two evils, don't mistake one for good.

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
Because they would be expected to be there.
And that makes them acceptable targets for murder because...?

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
So if Kira says they were all guilty, she must have been targeting actual occupation members or their families, nothing more. She wasn't just indulging in racial hatred of all Cardassians.
You know what happens when you make morally absolute statements like that about another group of people? Maybe - maybe - it doesn't start out as racial hatred, but soon enough...
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Old April 1 2011, 07:56 PM   #504
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Sci wrote: View Post
Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
Well, with all due respect, that may work for personal judgement--but laws can't be written on grounds of personal judgement. Else, they are left vague--and vaugeness in the law is invariably exploited.
But we're not talking about the law. We're talking about whether or not it would have been a "good thing" for the Bajoran Resistance or for an anti-Soviet terrorist organization to use nuclear weapons on civilian population centers.
I think referring to something Kestrel said here helps explain my point--

You first never ever lose sight of the moral repugnancy and pretend it's okay. When choosing between two evils, don't mistake one for good.
When doing what is necessary, sometimes you have to do things that are, to be blunt, immoral. However, such an act is the lesser of two evils--what must be done to end a war or revolution in victory--and do so as quickly as possible.

Kestrel wrote: View Post
If you drive somebody to suicide, you can be charged with murder.
You can be, yes. It depends on the context.
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Old April 2 2011, 03:49 AM   #505
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Kestrel wrote: View Post
Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
Because they would be expected to be there.
And that makes them acceptable targets for murder because...?
I'm not saying *I* accept them as targets, just that Kira might.
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Old April 2 2011, 04:07 AM   #506
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

I just finished the book, and really enjoyed it. I wasn't completely familiar with the current political situation of the Romulan state(s), but really found myself taking a liking to Donatra; I also really liked seeing Spock again, since he featured in the last novel I read (Before Dishonor) as well.

This will more than likely put me in the minority, but I liked what DRG did with regards to Sisko, and found it believable and understandable. I also liked that it was a mirror/echo of a situation described by Kirsten Beyer in Full Circle with regards to Tom, B'Elanna, and Miral (even though the latter situation is a hoax as opposed to being a literal separation, as in Sisko's case).

I also liked seeing Sela again, since she was always one of my favorite TNG-era antagonists.

The only complaint I have is that the 'flashbacks' to Ben Sisko's early Starfleet career and his personal encounters with the Tzenkenthi felt somewhat 'tacked on' and out of place, given that there really wasn't any attempt made to 'put them into context' with regards to the rest of the story. However, that's really a minor quibble in the grander scheme of things, and I really enjoyed the novel as a whole.
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Old April 2 2011, 06:52 AM   #507
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
I think referring to something Kestrel said here helps explain my point--

You first never ever lose sight of the moral repugnancy and pretend it's okay. When choosing between two evils, don't mistake one for good.
When doing what is necessary, sometimes you have to do things that are, to be blunt, immoral. However, such an act is the lesser of two evils--what must be done to end a war or revolution in victory--and do so as quickly as possible.
As a note: victory is not always the lesser of two evils.

Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
Kestrel wrote: View Post
If you drive somebody to suicide, you can be charged with murder.
You can be, yes. It depends on the context.
If the Jem'Hadar committed mass suicide because of the Federation committing genocide on the Founders, that would be an appropriate context.

Mr. Laser Beam wrote: View Post
Kestrel wrote: View Post
And that makes them acceptable targets for murder because...?
I'm not saying *I* accept them as targets, just that Kira might.
Ah, gotcha.
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Old April 2 2011, 07:04 AM   #508
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

Kestrel wrote: View Post
Rush Limborg wrote: View Post
I think referring to something Kestrel said here helps explain my point--

You first never ever lose sight of the moral repugnancy and pretend it's okay. When choosing between two evils, don't mistake one for good.
When doing what is necessary, sometimes you have to do things that are, to be blunt, immoral. However, such an act is the lesser of two evils--what must be done to end a war or revolution in victory--and do so as quickly as possible.
As a note: victory is not always the lesser of two evils.
When that victory means gaining or keeping freedom...then that determines the lesser of two evils.

If the Jem'Hadar committed mass suicide because of the Federation committing genocide on the Founders, that would be an appropriate context.
Well, again, Bartlett ordered an assasination--violating the law (technically, an executive order banning assasination orders, but that's splitting hairs)--so in some instances, he would agree that "murder" is justified. Hideous and, arguably, immoral, yes--but necessary, and therefore justified.
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Old April 6 2011, 06:56 PM   #509
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

In the last two weeks, I've read Warpath/Fearful Symmetry/The Soul Key, then Zero Sum Game and Rough Beasts of Empire. Although the 5 year jump is unfortunate, DRG III did a good job providing the DS9 relaunch some room to maneuver should a post The Soul Key novel be commissioned.

For example:
-- DS9 "Season 9" (2377) begins with Warpath. Aside from the departures of Shar and Taran'atar, none of the other personnel changes take place until 2379 or "Season 11." This provides more than enough time to continue the original relaunch storylines with the Ascendants and the future of the Dominion, while at the same time allowing the characters to evolve (or not in the case of Bashir) over time.
-- I could just as easily see a trilogy being developed to cover the last two years of Kira and Vaughn in command of DS9, then an anthology covering what the various DS9 characters are up to between 2379-2381. Then with everyone scattered, you have character based books not location based books, which is what's already happening with the Typhon Pact. RBoE with the Kira scene provides a nice outline of how all this could slot in.
-- Elias Vaughn can be healed as soon as The-Plot-Demands-It.

Aside from the DS9 points, I liked the role the Tzenkethi played. It showed how without being a major power the species could so easily provide a problem to the Federation and how their society could be authoritarian in its own way.

Sisko's character arc was brutal, but it was well developed and true to what had been shown in the tv series.

I also liked how Spock was used. Usually when TOS characters are used in the 24th century novels, it smacks of small universe syndrome or TOS worship. But here Spock's storyline was true to both Unification and Star Trek 09 and developed the groundwork for explaining why he would be involved with the Romulan government trying to stop the Hobus supernova before being pulled back in time into an alternate universe.

My two main problems with the book were how other novels dealing with the Romulans were referenced and the way the Sisko-Tzenkethi flashback was included.

Usually when novels reference an episode, they give you a couple sentences recapping what had happened to jar our memory. This book does this when referencing episodes, but when referencing what has happened in other novels with Donatra and Tal-Aura, the IRS, the Watrii, the Remans part of the Klingon Empire etc it would have been nice to get a brief recap as well instead of having to look everything up on Memory Beta and be spoiled about other storylines beyond the specific reference. I can definately appreciate the recent thread on this BBS about the Trek books potentially developing their own continuity to the point that it can become less accessible to new or casual readers, especially if you are crossing series (like Titan) have say TNG fans verses DS9 fans.

And the Tzenkethi flashbacks were jarring and confusing. I realise it was supposed to be jarring and confusing at first for Sisko since it was his POV but some elaboration would have been appreciated. Did the Tzenkethi torture to death most of the crew of the crashed ship or merely kill them? Did they find out about the rare ore? Was the Tzenkethi that interrogated Sisko the one who went to Romulas and orchestrated Tal-Aura's fall (with the limp leg)? This should have either been expanded and clarified or left out for a future Lost Era book.

Here's hoping for some DS9R books in 2012...
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Old April 7 2011, 07:34 AM   #510
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Re: Typhon Pact: Rough Beasts Of Empire review thread

^ I'm curious as to why you read Zero Sum Game before Rough Beasts of Empire, since, chronologically, they occur in reverse order (RBoE before ZSG).
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